Convinced red light cameras are just about money? This may change your mind


Critics of red light cameras say they’re just a way for struggling cities to generate money.

But a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says red light camera programs in 79 big cities saved nearly 1,300 lives through 2014 due to fewer intersection crashes. 

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Red light cameras: What you need to know

  • Red-light-running crashes caused 709 deaths in 2014.
  • There were also an estimated 126,000 injuries from such crashes.
  • Red light runners account for a minority of those killed.
  • The majority of those killed are people in other vehicles, passengers in the violator’s car, pedestrians or bicyclists.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says red light cameras are currently in 24 states and the District of Columbia and 430 communities have the cameras, as of August 2016. 

In cities that turned off the cameras, the study found deadly red-light-running crashes increased 30%. 

How much a red light ticket will cost you

And if you get caught running a red light, fines can be steep.

The website lists the fines for red light camera violations. You’ll pay about $100 in most states. However, the fine is $490 in California!

There are exceptions, but most states won’t assess points – so no increase in your insurance rates.


To see nearby red light cameras, you can go to for a map that’s updated by anonymous users. And click here to read the red light camera laws in your state.  

Read more: These traffic tickets will hike your auto insurance rates the most

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